Given the informal nature of a probation revocation hearing, defendant’s opportunities to speak and present evidence, and defense counsel’s review of a domestic violence protective order before the order was handed to the judge at the end of the hearing, defendant’s due process rights were not violated by the judge’s consideration of the G.S. Chapter 50B order after the end of the presentation of evidence.
We affirm the revocation of defendant’s probation.
After closing arguments, the trial judge asked to see the 50B order, but the judge asked that the order be shown to defense counsel first. At that point, it was apparent that the judge was going to review the 50B order. Considering the informal nature of a probation revocation hearing, defendant could have asked the trial court for the opportunity to present relevant information or to be heard on the 50B order.
Defendant did not do so, and the trial court took no action preventing defendant from asking. Accordingly, the trial court did not violate defendant’s due process rights under G.S. § 15A-1345(e).
The 50B order did not need to be authenticated by a witness and it could be considered by the trial court despite being hearsay evidence because the formal rules of evidence do not apply in a probation revocation hearing. Furthermore, it was not arbitrary for the trial court to ask for a copy of the 50B order after defendant’s probation officer stated that a 50B order had been granted during her remarks about disposition. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in reviewing and relying on the 50B order to find that defendant had committed a new criminal offense.
The trial court in its sound discretion could be reasonably satisfied that defendant had willfully violated a condition of probation because the trial court knew defendant was charged with assault on a female, a 50B order had been issued in relation to the charge, and the prosecuting witness and defendant were both present at the civil proceeding about the 50B order. Therefore, the trial court did not err in revoking defendant’s probation on the ground that defendant had committed a new criminal offense.
State v. Miles (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-015-22, 13 pp.) (Darren Jackson, J.) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court (Lisa Bell, J.) Kimberly Randolph for the state; Jillian Katz for defendant. 2022-NCCOA-22